- Hardcover: 758 pages
- Publisher: Liam's Vigil Publishing Co. (16 January 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 177523567X
- ISBN-13: 978-1775235675
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.6 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.3 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
An Elegy of Heroes: The Agartes Epilogues Complete Trilogy Hardcover – 16 Jan 2019
"...rich, deeply developed worldbuilding." -Courtney Schafer, author of The Whitefire Crossing
"With each successive book, Villoso's skills grow stronger. Her characters are flawed, which means that sometimes I wanted to smack them upside the head. But it made them real, and it made me care..." -Quenby Olson, author of The Half Killed
"...uses characters like a garrote to strangle your heart." -Julie Midnight, author of Wolf's Wife
"...motivations and behaviour are consistent, each character a distinct and complex voice. Eagle-eyed readers will love the clever use of foreshadowing..." -The Tome and Tankard Inn
"Villoso's strength is character development and world development." -The Weatherwax Report
"A complex, intricately woven narrative--and the establishing of a rich, fascinating world." -Raffael Coronelli, author of Daikaiju Yuki
"...demands a fair bit of your attention...but once you put in the initial effort...is a rewarding experience." -The Coffee Archives Speculative Fiction Reviews
"Do yourself a favour and pick up Jaeth's Eye... The characters are fantastic, the world complex and sprawling... This is very much a thinking book..." -Queenie Reads Too Much
"I'm a little surprised that this series is not at least a little more well known. There is a lot to enjoy... There was betrayal, there was desperation... really well done." -Book Geeks Uncompromised
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According to the author, the tale is based on myths and legends from the Philippines, although most of the names / places sound more Korean / Japanese (and a few sound oddly Welsh / Gaelic). Part of the problem with reading it on Kindle is that it is not easy to visualize all the places involved (and there are lots of them) and how they are related – while there are maps supplied they’re not very useful. The story is told through the traditionally Asian plot of two brothers (one good, one bad) and a woman who loves and is loved by both, and a lot of time (too much for me) is spent on their internal agonizing. Apart from them, there are magicians, warlords and kings, a powerful evil creature, and various other supernatural entities who are all on one side or another.
Would I recommend this book? If you have plenty of time and don’t mind authors who don’t use one word when they can use ten, this may be for you. There is occasional coarse language and minor descriptions of bloodshed but I suspect that a YA audience would get bored before they got offended. To put it in perspective, to have a change of scene I started reading another book at the same time and finished three other books before I got to the end of this one (although I did manage to finish it so it’s better than some I’ve dumped).
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The giant Rube Goldberg machine of a narrative hits a level of emotional intensity at the end of Aina's Breath that doesn't loosen its grip for the entirety of the final book. The groundwork for the immersive world set in the first book, and the complex machinations and character development of the second all come around to make Sapphire's Flight a complete, epic experience that weaves together personal stakes with powerful, high fantasy conflicts and creatures. The payoff of it all is that by the time you get to the climax, the characters and world feel real.
This new edition collects all three volumes in one omnibus with awesome new cover art.
All the way back in Jaeth’s Eye, the first book of the trilogy, we’re introduced to our three main MAIN characters (there are other characters who become almost-main characters – it’s a fairly large cast – but we’ll stick with these three for the moment) Kefier, Sume, and Enosh. The former two are not the type who want to get into your usual fantasy shenanigans. So there’s no staring off at a binary sunset wondering how cool it would be to find out you’re heir to some spiffy Jedi Agan magic. They just want to make it through the typical day to day.
A great deal of what happens to our main characters over the course of the series is not important people making big decisions about epic things and wars and sword fights and dragons. Those things are there. They happen, but they happen off-screen for the most part. A lot of what we see is the after-effects of those decisions, a small band of warriors left to face off against a larger army because a Big Decision was made off-screen, and our beloved characters are abandoned and left to pick up the pieces.
Now, so far, I’ve been rather vague about things, and that’s on purpose. There are quite a number of reveals in this series, especially in the final book, so I’m treading carefully so as not to SPOILER anything.
So let’s try to sum up a few things and do some thought-gathering: This series tries to bite off a lot. There is a tremendous amount of history and world-building on display, but not to the point that I was bored to tears by it. Much of it is deftly woven into the story (one moment that stands out is when a bit of world-building is presented in bedtime story form, which meant I didn’t even realize I’d just seen Villoso’s world expand a little more until later, so smoothly was it presented.)
There is a mix of viewpoints, interludes, and prologues, which are all important. When I first read Jaeth’s Eye, I will confess that I was confused at moments because it seemed like there was so much to keep track of, along with a few pacing issues, but as I moved through the book, it all seemed to contract on itself, pulling the various threads together, until I suddenly hit the pay-off and realized just how detailed and well-constructed this world was going to be.
With each successive book, Villoso’s skills grow stronger. By the time I arrived at Sapphire’s Flight, her prose had graduated to a beautiful thing. Her characters are flawed, which means that sometimes I wanted to smack them upside the head. But it made them real, and it made me care. And made me cry in bed at one o’clock in the morning when I arrived at the end of the trilogy.
It is a solid series. It is a remarkably solid fantasy debut. At its heart, it’s about its characters, caught in the machinations of an epic fantasy world that simply will not leave them be. I look forward to reading more of Villoso’s work, because I suspect she’ll only improve and enthrall more and more with each story she creates.
The characters, now fully established, have chemistry that at this point has become easy and familiar to the reader. Enosh and Sapphire continue to delight, even as they disdain and irritate one another. Sume has reached a point in her development where she has transformed from a level-headed but unassertive young woman to a sure-footed quick thinking protagonist who doesn't suffer fools gladly (well, except perhaps Enosh). Her strength in the face of adversity (and even, at times, tragedy) remains an anchor point and highlight of the entire story. Rosha has grown to be a clever and precocious child with a vocabulary that is perhaps a little too developed, but the naivete that Villoso imbues her with keeps her believable. Fans of Robin Hobb will find much to enjoy here - while some characters are much as they always were despite having learned a few hard lessons, others have been shaped over the course of the series into something almost entirely new. Minor players are given some truly excellent dialogue and find development via their interactions with the likes of Kefier and Sume.
The pacing was overall nicely done - this entry was more action heavy than the previous two, but we are given plenty of breathing room and even time for a little melodrama. Fair warning for those who disdain love triangles, because the triangle featured in Sapphire's Flight is fairly central to the story. Personally I think it was believably written and managed to avoid becoming tedious, which is all I ask. Villoso has stated in numerous interviews that she likes writing fantasy soap operas, and if that sounds like something that might be up your alley I highly recommend this one. It's got everything but an amnesiac and an evil twin, and I do mean that as a compliment.
Observant readers will most definitely find their attentions are rewarded here. I have mentioned this in my reviews for the previous entries, but it bears repeating - I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into plotting out this novel. Seeds that were planted two books ago start suddenly sprouting to fruition and it just doesn't stop. It's a rollercoaster that peaks with a genuinely excellent epic battle scene - I'm typically not someone who loves a fight scene, preferring introspection and character development above all else, but the sense of chaos and fear that jumped off the page made this one memorable.
This is the book that Villoso was waiting to write, and it was well worth the wait. If, like me, you are someone who enjoys watching a writer develop and find their voice, this is a series for you.